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Phoebe Litchfield century seals Australia’s 3-0 ODI sweep over India
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Phoebe Litchfield century seals Australia’s 3-0 ODI sweep over India

Phoebe Litchfield’s record-breaking century led Australia to a 190-run victory over India in the third women’s one-day international in Mumbai, completing a 3-0 series sweep.

Australia’s Litchfield (119) and captain Alyssa Healy (82) propelled their team to a score of 338 for seven, which is their highest against India. However, India’s response was lackluster as they were bowled out for just 148 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).

Litchfield was awarded the player of the match and series title for her outstanding performance, scoring 260 runs at an average of 86.67. Even after her impressive century, she continued to make an impact by taking a spectacular catch at cover. With a full-stretch dive and her right hand, she intercepted Amanjot Kaur’s powerful cover drive. Litchfield and Healy were in control from the beginning, setting a record for the highest opening partnership against India with 189 runs off 179 balls.

“The 20-year-old Litchfield stated that she gained knowledge from each play. The first game was difficult, and the second was even more challenging. Although she had some luck in all three games, she was pleased to reach a score of three figures.”

India was behind 2-0 in the series and had to achieve an extraordinary run chase to secure a win, but their chances were quickly dashed as they lost wickets continuously. The spoils were divided among five bowlers who all made an impact: Georgia Wareham (three for 21), Annabel Sutherland (two for nine), Alana King (two for 21), Megan Schutt (two for 23), and Ashleigh Gardner (one for 38).

Schutt caught the first two batters, Yastika Bhatia (nine) and Smriti Mandhana (29), during the power play. Leg-spinner Wareham took out Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur (3) and Richa Ghosh (19). King made a great catch to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues (25) and then bowled Pooja Vastrakar (14) with a sharp leg break. Tahlia McGrath also made a one-handed catch to send Shreyanka Patil off, while Mooney took another excellent catch at slip to finish off the match.

Red-hot Litchfield combined deft scoops and reverse sweeps with authoritative down-the-ground drives during her masterful knock, while Healy reversed her scratchy form this tour by posting her first ODI half-century since her famous 170 against England in the 2022 World Cup final. The skipper’s dismissal, playing on to Vastrakar, sparked a mini-collapse of four for 27.

Litchfield, after using 23 balls in the 90s to only score singles, achieved her second century in her career and raised her ODI average to over 60 before getting out to Amanjot, miscuing the ball to Harmanpreet. The lower-order batsman King hit three sixes in an unbeaten 26 off 14 balls, adding to India’s disheartening defeat. This was Australia’s ninth consecutive victory in bilateral ODI series against India and their sixth clean sweep.

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Healy stated that they aim to uphold their standards and they were successful in doing so. They take pride in being clinical, which they had not been in the past few series within the last year. He is excited that they were able to achieve it tonight.

Source: theguardian.com